April 24, 2011 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Cronin Leaving Northeastern?

CHN Staff Report

And then there was eight.

According to a report in The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead (N.D.), Northeastern coach Greg Cronin will step down to take an unspecified job in the American Hockey League.

Cronin is currently with Team USA as an assistant coach at the World Championships in Slovakia.

Northeastern would become the eighth coaching change in Division I this season, matching a record set in 2004-05.

It would not be a surprise, coming on the heels of Cronin's school-imposed suspension for recruiting violations.

In February, the school discovered improper contacts between the coaching staff and recruits. Northeastern athletic director Peter Roby, who came in to clean up a program that had been setback by violations in its basketball program, came down harshly on Cronin and his staff. Cronin and assistant coach Albie O'Connell were suspended for three weeks, with the possibility of more to come as the school kept its investigation going. The second assistant, Sebastien Laplante, who was the interim head coach in Cronin's absence, is set to be suspended for an equal length of time when next season begins.

Cronin previously coached in the AHL at Bridgeport, an affiliate of the New York Islanders, for two seasons, 2003-05. He left to take the job at Northeastern, replacing Bruce Crowder, and led the Huskies to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2009. Prior to Bridgeport, Cronin was an assistant coach with the Islanders from 1999-2003. He's also been an assistant coach at Maine, Colorado College and Colby, his alma mater.

Cronin, 48, is a native of Arlington, Mass.

The news from The Forum came amid a story about current Fargo Force (USHL) player Vinny Saponari transferring to Northeastern. Saponari was dismissed from Boston University after the 2009-10 season. He played two seasons there, winning a national championship as a freshman and scoring 20 goals and 47 points. After his dismissal, he went to Fargo and scored 18 goals this season. A former U.S. Under-18 team member, Saponari is a native of suburban Atlanta, and was drafted in the fourth round of 2008 NHL Draft by his hometown Atlanta Thrashers.

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